Shakespeare Tragedy

Shakespeare Tragedy

1a. Identify in Romeo and Juliet one element that does not fit in with Aristotle’s theory of tragedy in the Poetics. According to the Aristotle in ’s theory of tragedy in the Poetics, tragedy is the “imitation of an action“[1](mimesis) according to “the law of probability or necessity. “[2] Hence, the length of a play should be perceived as probable in the reality. The theory insists the ascertainment of an action could have happened in such and such a time during the play. 3] However in Romeo and Juliet, the whole story takes spans of 4 to 6 days and the play only happens within takes approximately 2 hours. The huge gap in time challenges the audience’s sense of which is impossible in the reality. In Shakespeare’s day, plays were often performed at noon in broad daylight. This forced the playwright to use words to create the illusion of day and night in his plays.

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Shakespeare uses references to the night and day, the stars, the moon, and the sun to create this illusion. There are no fewer than 103 references to time are found in the play, adding to the illusion of its passage. [4]Hence, the unity of time in Romeo and Juliet doesn’t fit in Aristotle’s theory. b. Following your answer to (a), do you agree with Herder that Romeo and Juliet is a great drama precisely because it does not follow straightly the rules established by Aristotle on drama and tragedy?

According to the lecture entitled “Shakespeare” by the Johann Gottfried Herder, “Not a single one of Shakespeare’s plays would be a Greek Tragedy, Comedy, Pastoral, nor should it be…” It implies Shakespeare’s plays are totally differentnot comparable with from the one in Greek dramas, which Aristotle is much clearly adoredd by Aristotle. Though Shakespeares’ doesn’t follow straightly the rules, I do agree with Herder that Romeo and Juliet is a great drama because of that. Following the answer in part (a), the time in Shakespeare doesn’t follow the theory by Aristotle though. he Shakespeare uses so many references to tell the audiences that the time has already passed the story[5]. The drama time and the real time are different which may violate the theory of probability but it still enables the audience to be entertained by the plot, it still enables the audience to feel the air of reality without doubting the probablity of the plot and that is the most important functions of a drama or a play and these cannot be created under the rules by Aristotle.

Besides the element of time, the plot of Romeo and Juliet is also a great success. In Greece drama, which are much admired by Aristotle, the tragedy developed basically out of a single scene, out of the impromptu dithyramb[6]. However, in Shakespeare’s plays, he aims at the totality of an event, an occurrence,[7] and the tragedy is meant to happen without coincidences. We can see itthat this is the case by the setting of from Shakespeare’s the characterizationcharacter first. tThe main character protagonist Romeo, for example, is most inconsistent. He first fell in love with Roseline and pined for an unrequited love, Rosaline and . tThe coversation between Romeo and Benvelio in Act 1 implies shows that how Romeo is a man who falls in love easily, preparing the audience for the easy acceptance that which also means Romeo will certainly also fall in love with Juliet because of her beauty at the first sight.

This provides the substance to support what, which will lead the chorus suggests at the beginning of the play: that to the tragedy is made possible by a pair of just like the chorus said they are “ star-crossed lovers “ and that the protagonists’ their future are is predetermined. Also the incidents in the plot are not purely incidences or coincidences but contains purposes and details and come as a whole[8]. Such as the accident that Tybalt killed Mercutio which make Romeo want to take a revenge and hence banished by the Prince of Verona.

Not only the scene but also the character Tybalt are crucial element to the tragedy, which urged Juliet to resort to Friar Lawrence and get a poison which is the blasting fuse of the tragedy. All in all, Shakespeare creates his own space and own time without adhering to the theory of Aristotle and hence created lots of possibilties. Shakespeare has his own sense towards life and nature which moves the audiences until the century. Therefore, I agree that Romeo and Juliet is a great precisely because it doesn’t follow the rules. ———————- [1] “Poetics “by Aristotle, Part IX, The Internet Classics Achieve. [2] Resources : http://www2. cnr. edu/home/bmcmanus/poetics. html [3] “Shakespeare”, p. 52, Johann Gottfried Herder. [4] “Halio”, 1998, p. 55-58; “Driver”, 1964, p. 363-370. [5] “Halio”, 1998, p. 55-58; “Driver”, 1964, p. 363-370. [6] “Shakespeare”, p. 6, Johann Gottfried Herder. [7] “Shakespeare”, p. 31, Johann Gottfried Herder. [8] “Poetics “by Aristotle, Part XXIII, The Internet Classics Achieve.


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